2010 Pennsylvania Code
Title 75 - VEHICLES
Chapter 17 - Financial Responsibility
1705 - Election of tort options.

     § 1705.  Election of tort options.
        (a)  Financial responsibility requirements.--
            (1)  Each insurer, not less than 45 days prior to the
        first renewal of a private passenger motor vehicle liability
        insurance policy on and after July 1, 1990, shall notify in
        writing each named insured of the availability of two
        alternatives of full tort insurance and limited tort
        insurance described in subsections (c) and (d). The notice
        shall be a standardized form adopted by the commissioner and
        shall include the following language:
                         NOTICE TO NAMED INSUREDS
            A.  "Limited Tort" Option--The laws of the Commonwealth
            of Pennsylvania give you the right to choose a form of
            insurance that limits your right and the right of members
            of your household to seek financial compensation for
            injuries caused by other drivers. Under this form of
            insurance, you and other household members covered under
            this policy may seek recovery for all medical and other
            out-of-pocket expenses, but not for pain and suffering or
            other nonmonetary damages unless the injuries suffered
            fall within the definition of "serious injury" as set
            forth in the policy or unless one of several other
            exceptions noted in the policy applies. The annual
            premium for basic coverage as required by law under this
            "limited tort" option is $     .
            Additional coverages under this option are available at
            additional cost.
            B.  "Full Tort" Option--The laws of the Commonwealth of
            Pennsylvania also give you the right to choose a form of
            insurance under which you maintain an unrestricted right
            for you and the members of your household to seek
            financial compensation for injuries caused by other
            drivers. Under this form of insurance, you and other
            household members covered under this policy may seek
            recovery for all medical and other out-of-pocket expenses
            and may also seek financial compensation for pain and
            suffering and other nonmonetary damages as a result of
            injuries caused by other drivers. The annual premium for
            basic coverage as required by law under this "full tort"
            option is $    .
            Additional coverages under this option are available at
            additional cost.
            C.  You may contact your insurance agent, broker or
            company to discuss the cost of other coverages.
            D.  If you wish to choose the "limited tort" option
            described in paragraph A, you must sign this notice where
            indicated below and return it. If you do not sign and
            return this notice, you will be considered to have chosen
            the "full tort" coverage as described in paragraph B and
            you will be charged the "full tort" premium.
            I wish to choose the "limited tort" option described in
            paragraph A:
                             .........................    ...........
                             Named Insured                Date
            E.  If you wish to choose the "full tort" option
            described in paragraph B, you may sign this notice where
            indicated below and return it. However, if you do not
            sign and return this notice, you will be considered to
            have chosen the "full tort" coverage as described in
            paragraph B and you will be charged the "full tort"
            premium.
            I wish to choose the "full tort" option described in
            paragraph B:
                             .........................    ...........
                             Named Insured                Date
            (2)  Insurers shall print the above notice containing
        both options on one sheet in prominent type and place in a
        prominent location. Any person signing, or otherwise bound
        by, a document containing such terms is bound by such
        election and is precluded from claiming liability of any
        person based upon being inadequately informed in making the
        election between full tort or limited tort alternatives.
        Where there are two or more named insureds on a policy, any
        named insured may make the full or limited tort election
        provided for in this section for all named insureds on the
        policy.
            (3)  If a named insured who receives a notice under
        paragraph (1) does not indicate a choice within 20 days, the
        insurer shall send a second notice. The second notice shall
        be in a form identical to the first notice, except that it
        shall be identified as a second and final notice. If a named
        insured has not responded to either notice ten days prior to
        the renewal date, the named insured and those he is empowered
        by this section to bind by his choice are conclusively
        presumed to have chosen the full tort alternative. All
        notices required by this section shall advise that if no tort
        election is made, the named insured and those he is empowered
        to bind by his choice are conclusively presumed to have
        chosen the full tort alternative. Any person subject to the
        limited tort option by virtue of this section shall be
        precluded from claiming liability of any person based upon
        being inadequately informed.
            (4)  Each insurer, prior to the first issuance of a
        private passenger motor vehicle liability insurance policy on
        and after July 1, 1990, shall provide each applicant with the
        notice required by paragraph (1). A policy may not be issued
        until the applicant has been provided an opportunity to elect
        a tort option.
            (5)  An owner of a currently registered private passenger
        motor vehicle who does not have financial responsibility
        shall be deemed to have chosen the limited tort alternative.
            (6)  Nothing in this section changes or modifies the
        existing requirement that owners of registered vehicles
        maintain bodily injury and property damage liability
        insurance arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of
        a motor vehicle.
        (b)  Application of tort options.--
            (1)  The tort option elected by a named insured shall
        apply to all private passenger motor vehicle policies of the
        named insured issued by the same insurer and shall continue
        in force as to all subsequent renewal policies, replacement
        policies and any other private passenger motor vehicle
        policies under which the individual is a named insured until
        the insurer, or its authorized representative, receives a
        properly executed form electing the other tort option.
            (2)  The tort option elected by a named insured shall
        apply to all insureds under the private passenger motor
        vehicle policy who are not named insureds under another
        private passenger motor vehicle policy. In the case where
        more than one private passenger motor vehicle policy is
        applicable to an insured and the policies have conflicting
        tort options, the insured is bound by the tort option of the
        policy associated with the private passenger motor vehicle in
        which the insured is an occupant at the time of the accident
        if he is an insured on that policy and bound by the full tort
        option otherwise.
            (3)  An individual who is not an owner of a currently
        registered private passenger motor vehicle and who is not a
        named insured or insured under any private passenger motor
        vehicle policy shall not be precluded from maintaining an
        action for noneconomic loss or economic loss sustained in a
        motor vehicle accident as the consequence of the fault of
        another person pursuant to applicable tort law.
        (c)  Full tort alternative.--Each person who is bound by the
     full tort election remains eligible to seek compensation for
     noneconomic loss claimed and economic loss sustained in a motor
     vehicle accident as the consequence of the fault of another
     person pursuant to applicable tort law.
        (d)  Limited tort alternative.--Each person who elects the
     limited tort alternative remains eligible to seek compensation
     for economic loss sustained in a motor vehicle accident as the
     consequence of the fault of another person pursuant to
     applicable tort law. Unless the injury sustained is a serious
     injury, each person who is bound by the limited tort election
     shall be precluded from maintaining an action for any
     noneconomic loss, except that:
            (1)  An individual otherwise bound by the limited tort
        election who sustains damages in a motor vehicle accident as
        the consequence of the fault of another person may recover
        damages as if the individual damaged had elected the full
        tort alternative whenever the person at fault:
                (i)  is convicted or accepts Accelerated
            Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) for driving under the
            influence of alcohol or a controlled substance in that
            accident;
                (ii)  is operating a motor vehicle registered in
            another state;
                (iii)  intends to injure himself or another person,
            provided that an individual does not intentionally injure
            himself or another person merely because his act or
            failure to act is intentional or done with his
            realization that it creates a grave risk of causing
            injury or the act or omission causing the injury is for
            the purpose of averting bodily harm to himself or another
            person; or
                (iv)  has not maintained financial responsibility as
            required by this chapter, provided that nothing in this
            paragraph shall affect the limitation of section
            1731(d)(2) (relating to availability, scope and amount of
            coverage).
            (2)  An individual otherwise bound by the limited tort
        election shall retain full tort rights with respect to claims
        against a person in the business of designing, manufacturing,
        repairing, servicing or otherwise maintaining motor vehicles
        arising out of a defect in such motor vehicle which is caused
        by or not corrected by an act or omission in the course of
        such business, other than a defect in a motor vehicle which
        is operated by such business.
            (3)  An individual otherwise bound by the limited tort
        election shall retain full tort rights if injured while an
        occupant of a motor vehicle other than a private passenger
        motor vehicle.
        (e)  Nondiscrimination.--No insurer shall cancel, refuse to
     write or refuse to renew a motor vehicle insurance policy based
     on the tort option election of the named insured. Any violation
     of this subsection shall be deemed a violation of the Automobile
     Insurance Policy Act.
        (f)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
     words and phrases when used in this section shall have the
     meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context
     clearly indicates otherwise:
        "Insured."  Any individual residing in the household of the
     named insured who is:
            (1)  a spouse or other relative of the named insured; or
            (2)  a minor in the custody of either the named insured
        or relative of the named insured.
        "Named insured."  Any individual identified by name as an
     insured in a policy of private passenger motor vehicle
     insurance.
     (Feb. 7, 1990, P.L.11, No.6, eff. imd.)

        1990 Amendment.  Act 6 added section 1705.
        References in Text.  The act of June 5, 1968 (P.L.140,
     No.78), referred to as the Automobile Insurance Policy Act,
     referred to in subsec. (e), was repealed by the act of June 17,
     1998, P.L.464, No.68. The subject matter is now contained in
     Article XX of the act of May 17, 1921 (P.L.682, No.284), known
     as The Insurance Company Law of 1921.
        Cross References.  Section 1705 is referred to in sections
     1731, 1791.1, 1799.7 of this title.

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